EXCLUSIVE: Scott Cooper is set to direct Once Upon a Time in Hollywood‘s Margaret Qualley in the psychological horror A Head Full of Ghosts. The film is backed by Cross Creek, Team Downey and The Allegiance Theater. Cross Creek is financing, with CAA Media Finance representing U.S. rights and Mad River International launching overseas sales at the European Film Market in Berlin.
Pic is an adaptation of Paul Tremblay’s Bram Stoker Award-winning horror novel, and Cooper is revising the current draft. When 8-year-old Merry’s older sister exhibits signs of an indeterminate and terrifying affliction, the Barrett family slowly tears itself apart. Now, 20 years later, Merry is confronted with her family’s traumatic past when Rachel, a journalist with a similarly haunted past, delves into the case, causing Merry to relive and reconsider the devastating memories of her childhood.
Qualley is also coming off Fosse/Verdon and The Leftovers. Cooper most recently directed the Keri Russell-Jessie Plemons-starrer Antlers, which Searchlight releases April 17.
Pic is produced by Daniel Dubiecki and Lara Alameddine of the Allegiance Theater, Susan Downey of Team Downey, Tyler Thompson of Cross Creek, Cooper and David Gambino. Robert Downey Jr is exec producing.
A Head Full of Ghosts is the second collaboration for Cooper and Cross Creek, after the Johnny Depp-starrer Black Mass for Warner Bros that grossed $99 million worldwide. Cross Creek’s other forays in the psychological thriller space include Black Swan and Woman in Black. Cross Creek just wrapped the Aaron Sorkin-directed Trial of the Chicago 7, with Paramount releasing in the fall, and the Vin Diesel-starrer Bloodshot that Sony releases March 13.
Cross Creek and Cooper are repped by CAA; Allegiance Theater is Jon Levin and Daniel Passman, Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman; Team Downey is WME, Hansen, Jacobson; Qualley is UTA, Management 360 and Sloane, Offer.